By Jaimi Dolmage
After attempting to show other vendors his super sweet trick of shooting dogs with poisoned darts in order to kill them for sale as meat, a vendor in China’s Hunan province experienced a misfire of his plan, literally, as a dart intended for a canine struck him in the leg. He died en route to a hospital. Awkward.
The man, whose name was withheld from the story, was one of many people who exploit stray dogs for the intention of consumption. The act of eating dog is particularly popular in areas of China like Zhejiang , Guangxi and Guangdong provinces as well as Hunan where this incident took place. In these regions, consuming canine seems to be more about superstition than taste preference or socio-economic factors as it is believed that dog meat can do everything from stimulating “internal fire” so that winter doesn’t seem as cold to bringing good luck and longevity. There’s even an entire festival for the summer solstice dedicated to the practice of eating dog meat in the city of Yulin.
The festival was believed to have been invented in the 1990s (though the consumption of dog meat in China goes back much further than that) and makes a person wonder just how that connection came about. Seriously, that sounds like someone who’d had just a bit too much Surge soda that day. Were they just pounding them back during a rocking marathon of Clarissa Explains it All and they thought, “You know what would really ring in the start of summer? A dog meat festival!” Then they hopped on AOL chat and started setting the plan in motion?
That’s not to say that everyone in China is ordering up Fido. More and more people in the country are starting to become domestic pet owners, which is slowly turning to popular tide against the practice while organizations like the Asia Canine Protection Alliance work to raise awareness of the inherent cruelties associated in hopes of bringing an end to it entirely.
As for the practitioner that shot himself instead of an unsuspecting dog in the street, we think it’s safe to say that we wish it never happened. Not because the guy was some sort of hero by any stretch, but because he was a human being who died doing something freaking ridiculous and utterly cruel. Think about it, do we all want something awesome on our headstones or do we want them to inform the world that we went out doing something we shouldn’t have been doing in the first place? It’s like that trophy hunter in Africa who was stomped by the elephant he was attempting to poach. The entire thing could have been avoided if he, and this A+ Chinese sniper over here, were spending their time otherwise occupied instead of being big buttheads.